When you choose an eco-friendly, affordable Planet home, you are making a choice based on more than the lowest up-front cost and the lowest allowable standards.
Our sustainable home designers not only work hard to make Planet homes affordable and ensure they exceed current NZ building standards, but they also aim to reduce the environmental impact of building your home and minimize its consumption of resources throughout its life – so that your home (and you, its owners) will leave a healthy and valuable legacy for future generations.
That is why every affordable Planet home is designed with the following five principles in mind:
1. Take advantage of passive heating, cooling and ventilation
2. Optimize energy efficiency
3. Optimise water efficiency
4. Minimise toxic building materials and waste
5. Use locally made (Australasian) building materials where possible
The information on the next few pages explains in detail how the unique features of every affordable Planet Home support these principles – giving you confidence in that in choosing Planet Homes, you are making a responsible decision that you and your family will benefit from and feel proud of for many years to come.
|Design Features||Planet Homes Standard||NZ Building Code|
|-Passive heating, cooling & ventilation||Included||(no standard)|
|-Foundation/Floor Insulation||R4||R1.3 (Sth Island)|
|-Ceiling Insulation||R5.8||R3.3 (Sth Island)|
|-Exterior wall Insulation||R3.6||R2.0 (Sth Island)|
|-Interior wall insulation||R2.5||(no standard)|
|-Exterior wall thickness||150mm||90mm|
|-Timber framing materials||Naturally durable||Chemically treated|
|-Energy and water efficient dishwasher||Included||(no standard)|
|-Water efficient tapware & toilets||Included||(no standard)|
|-Low or no VOC cabinetry and finishing materials||Included||(no standard)|
|-Locally made (Australasian) building materials||Preferred||(no standard)|
Passive Heating, Cooling and Ventilation
Passive solar heating is the science of allowing the sun’s heat to penetrate and be absorbed into your home during the day so that it can slowly release and keep your home warm long after the sun has gone down.
All Planet Homes are designed to achieve this with eaves and rooflines optimally designed to ensure the sun penetrates deeply during the winter, large windows in the North-facing living areas to admit the sun’s warmth, and exposed concrete or tiled thermal mass floors to absorb and slowly release the heat. In addition, Planet Homes’s unique thermally broken foundation, wall and roof framing systems, and extra-thick insulation in all these areas (see chart on previous page) helps your home to retain the heat once it is released.
Passive cooling is similarly achieved with smaller and fewer windows to the South and West, and extra insulation to keep the heat out in the hot summer months. When it is shaded from the sun’s heat by the careful roof design, the thermal mass concrete floor helps to cool your affordable Planet Home, and strategically placed windows allow passive cooling using cross-ventilation.
In combination, passive heating, cooling and ventilation provide you with a more stable indoor temperature and increased comfort all year round – as well as lower running costs due to a dramatically reduced dependence on artificial heating and cooling.
While the passive design for heating, cooling and ventilation included in your affordable home will significantly reduce your energy consumption compared to a poorly designed or sited house, your affordable home also includes an energy efficient cooktop, oven and dishwasher, and comes with a solar hot water compatible water cylinder.
A simple online voucher system means that you can easily add solar hot water, energy efficient lighting and other energy efficient appliances to your affordable home to further reduce your consumption and costs – for example:
1. An average household’s power bill can be reduced by about 30% by using an efficient solar hot water system. (Source: www.eeca.org.nz)
2. By installing energy efficient light fittings and bulbs in only your four most used lights, you could save up to $75 per year. (Source: www.eeca.org.nz)
In New Zealand, an average of 1,120 liters of water is used weekly by each person – enough to fill 8 paddling pools! (Source: www.eeca.org.nz)
Your affordable home includes the following water efficient devices to help reduce water consumption in your home:
1. Water efficient taps in hand basins and kitchen (WELS rating 4.0 or higher)
2. Water efficient toilets (WELS rating 4.0 or higher)
3. Water efficient shower heads (WELS rating 4.0 or higher)
In addition to saving water, the efficient shower heads and hot water taps can save you up to $500 per year on water heating, as less hot water is displaced from the cylinder each time you turn the shower or hot tap on.
At the time of purchase, you can also easily add rain water collection, grey water diversion or grey water recycling to your affordable home to further reduce your water consumption and costs.
Minimise toxic building materials and waste
It has been estimated that up to half of the waste that goes into New Zealand landfills comes from construction and demolition (www.smarterhomes.org.nz). Because affordable Planet Homes are prefabricated, waste generated on site is kept to a minimum. In addition, all affordable Planet Homes builders have been trained in building site waste minimization.
Some common building and interior finishing materials contain toxic chemicals that can harm the health of the building’s occupants, and also cause environmental damage during their production and/or disposal. All of the materials in our affordable homes have been chosen because they are considered safe to live with, produce and dispose of – for example:
1. Naturally durable Douglas fir framing meets the durability requirements of the NZ building code with no additional chemical treatments
2. Insulation in walls and ceilings is made from natural recycled wool
3. Weathertex cladding is made from sustainably grown Australian hardwoods, with no glues, resins or formaldehydes used in the production process
4. Eco edge skirtings and architraves and EO board cabinetry emit less than 0.5mg/L of formaldehyde – much less than traditional MDF and similar to some natural timbers
Use locally made (Australasian) building materials where possible
Using locally produced materials when building a home helps to reduce the resources consumed in transporting those materials. It also supports our local economy, and gives you peace of mind that the materials were produced under ethical labour conditions and to environmental standards that are clearly stated and monitored.
Unless a suitable product is not available locally, our affordable homes use only materials made in New Zealand or Australia – for example:
1. Douglas fir roof and wall framing is all plantation grown in New Zealand
2. Coloursteel roofing, fascias and spoutings are all made in New Zealand
3. Weathertex sustainable cladding is made in Australia from sustainably grown Australian hardwoods
4. Natural wool insulation is all made in New Zealand
5. Water saving tapware is all made in New Zealand
In addition to the materials and accessories detailed above which are included in your affordable home, our affordable homes include other high quality sustainably produced New Zealand and Australian made products.
1. New Zealand made solar hot water systems
2. New Zealand made wood or pellet burning fires
3. New Zealand made rain water collection tanks and grey water systems
4. New Zealand made paints
5. New Zealand made carpets and tiles
6. New Zealand or Australian made white-ware and other appliances.
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